Sunday, October 16, 2011
Pile Driving Completed!
It's been a while since my last post. Well, yes. The reason is that I managed to injure my back on the last day of pile driving. I only already finished 8 piles that day with only 7 left to go, and I was excited. At that point I was running the pile-driver on the interior piles in the house, and without much overhead clearance I was lifting the driver onto the pipes by hand (ie, no chain winch to assist me). And of course I arched my back picking it up and I could feel the muscle tear as it happened.
Now, as I said, I'm pretty burly, so I put on a back support and finished out the day in pretty wicked pain. But goddamnit, I wanted the piles finished, I didn't want it dragging out any longer. Plus, my month of pile-driver rental was almost up. So I persevered and completed the task.
Then I proceeded to do nothing for the next three weeks but sit around on muscle relaxers and hang out with my new best friend. Which brings me to the next picture!
This is Bubba. Bubba and I have lots in common. We like long walks in the park, jumping up on people, licking faces and peeing on things. You could say it's a match made in heaven. This day Bubba was hanging out while I measured how how much of the pipes to cut off.
To explain what I'm doing above....
This is the detail from the blueprints showing how the foundation will tie into the pin piles. You can see that once the piles are driven, you install a cap on top. This cap is then embedded into the foundation footing. So my next step is to use a rotating laser level, and then cut off the pipes so that they are all level and roughly 4" above the bottom of the concrete footing.
Here, I've already measured the pipes and cut them off. Now I need to clean up the excavation so that all of the pipes are 4" above the ground, and then install the caps.
Remember how I said the caps were $20 dollars if I purchased them? Well, I can't stand to buy what I can easily build, so I fabricated them. I spent about 7 hours fabricating them, with material costs of roughly $5 per cap. So 48 caps * $15 per cap means I saved roughly $720 doing this myself. It also means I paid myself roughly $100 an hour to do this. That's roughly 4x times the wage I would get as commercial welder.
And the end result, the excavation is cleaned up, the caps are installed on the piles and I'm ready to begin setting up the forms for the foundation!
Posted by Jeremiah at 11:46 AM